Archive for the ‘Proverbs 03’ Category

We see many instances in the New Testament when the demon spirits are afraid of Jesus, because they know that He is the Judge of the world and that they have a terrible fate awaiting them.

In Matthew 8:29, “And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come here to torment us before the time?”

You see, sudden fear gripped them, because of the terrible fate they know they have awaiting them. If you know that you are saved and safe with the Lord, you have no sudden fear. The only fear permitted to those who trust in the Lord is Godly fear. You see, trust in the Lord brings confidence, a knowing that all is well.

Delaying to do good is inconsiderate and unfair whether it is repaying a loan, returning a tool, or fulfilling a promise.  Withholding destroys trust and creates a great inconvenience.  Be as eager to do good as you are to have good done to you. 

Under Gods Command                        

Proverbs 03:21-26   21My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion;

22they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.

23Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.

24When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

25Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,

26for the LORD will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.

Proverbs 3:21-22 “21My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion;

22they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.

True wisdom belongs to God. God will give us wisdom if we seek it prayerfully. The grace that Jesus has provided for us has to be held in high esteem, even to the saving of our soul. We must remain in that wisdom.

Proverbs 3:23 Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.

If we remain in the wisdom that God hath provided for us in His Son, Jesus Christ, we shall be able to walk in His way and not stumble.

Proverbs 3:24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Here, again, if we remain in the wisdom that the Lord has given us, there is no fear of death. Death of the body would just transform us into that heavenly place with Jesus. There is no fear for the Christian with faith. So many times in these lessons we have made the statement that fear is the opposite of faith. Sleep is sweet for those wise unto salvation. No regrets haunt us. We have gotten forgiveness and are living just as if we had never sinned: justified by Jesus. Sleep is sweet when everything is alright with you and God.

Proverbs 3:25-26 Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, 26for the LORD will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.

We see many instances in the New Testament when the demon spirits are afraid of Jesus, because they know that He is the Judge of the world and that they have a terrible fate awaiting them.

In Matthew 8:29, “And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?”  You see, sudden fear gripped them, because of the terrible fate they know they have awaiting them. If you know that you are saved and safe with the Lord, you have no sudden fear. The only fear permitted to those who trust in the Lord is Godly fear.  You see, trust in the Lord brings confidence, a knowing that all is well.

Under Gods Command                                  

Proverbs 3:12 Because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in 

Adversity from God is proof of His love for you! Just as loving fathers discipline their favorite sons! The blessed God chastens every child of His to make him or her better. Having chosen them as His children before time, adopted them by the blood of Jesus at Calvary, and birthed them by His Spirit, God lovingly corrects them during their lives.

Solomon had exhorted his son not to despise the LORD’s chastening or get weary from His correction (Pr 3:11). Adversity from heaven should not discourage you, because it is proof of God’s love for you (Deut 8:5). Wise men will appreciate their loving Father and see the goal of His corrective chastening – their perfection in godliness (Heb 12:5-13).

Without chastening adversity in your life, you have no evidence you are a child of God, with an eternal inheritance in store. The Holy Scriptures declare you are a bastard, if you do not have this loving punishment in your life (Heb 12:8). For what kind of a son would a father ignore and neglect in this important aspect of parenting – an illegal pretender!

Chastening from God is temporal punishment He brings to correct you from sin and turn you back into the way of righteousness. It is very different from eternal judgment in hell for the final condemnation of your sins. Chastening is fatherly affection to perfect you as His child; it is evidence He will never send you to hell for your sins (I Cor 11:27-32).

Chastening proves love. If a bad event in your life causes you to reflect about your soul, with a desire to submit and serve God more perfectly, you should thank the Lord for this personal gesture of love toward you (Jer 31:18-20). He does not owe you this gracious correction; He could leave you floundering in confusion and sin. Do you not recognize that it brought more carefulness, prayerfulness, and sobriety to your existence?

David was thankful for adversity: he saw its profit. He said, “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word” (Ps 119:67). “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” (Ps 119:71). “I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me” (Ps 119:75).

Affliction, or negative events, happens to God’s children for four reasons – loving correction from God, to display His glory in their lives, to perfect their faith, and/or consequences of foolish decisions. God can accomplish one or all of these purposes in the individual events of your life. Since all the reasons are fair and good, there is no excuse to complain. There is mercy, and it nearby, for those who humble themselves and submit.

It is your duty to examine yourself (Ps 19:12-14; 26:2; 139:23-24; I Cor 11:28,31; II Cor 13:5). God will never chasten you for a sin you cannot identify by self-examination. But what efforts have you spent in sober contrition before Him (Ps 51:17; Is 57:15-16)?

It is your duty to carefully heed all preaching, for the same Spirit that brought your correction also directs your pastor’s thoughts (Eccl 12:11). And the same Spirit can use the book He wrote to provoke you to repentance from any passage you read (Ps 19:7-9).

The proper attitude toward chastening is to remember it proves God’s love for you (Deut 8:5). The proper response to chastening is exemplified by Elihu. He said, “Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more: That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more” (Job 34:31-32).

Job could have had the trials in his life removed sooner, if he had humbled himself and cried out in repentance to his Father for mercy (Job 36:15-18). Reader, how is it with you? Are you thankful for His loving chastening in your life? Are you ready to flee to Him in the name of your high priest Jesus for the comfort and peace of loving tranquility?

Under Gods Command

 Proverbs 9:3 She has sent our maids, and she calls from the highest point of the city.

The world’s best woman wants you! She has a house with seven pillars (Pr 9:1). She has prepared a feast (Pr 9:2); she wants to have an intimate meal with you (Pr 9:5). Solomon personified wisdom as a desirable woman, Lady Wisdom. Will you accept her invitation?

Wisdom is available for any man or woman who wants it. It is not far away; it is not difficult to obtain. It is not hard to find; it is not just for the intelligent or educated. There are no age or sex limitations. The only prerequisite is simplicity, or ignorance (Pr 9:4)!

If you are perplexed with any aspect of life, Wisdom is calling you. The blessed LORD God offers wisdom and understanding to men. All they must do is act on the invitation to humble themselves before Him and diligently apply the instruction He freely offers them.

Wisdom is found in creation (Ps 19:1-6), for God revealed His eternal power and Godhead by created things you see. It is also found in parents, teachers, counselors, and pastors (Pr 5:13; 24:6; Mal 2:7; Eph 6:4). But it is mostly found in the Bible (Ps 19:7-11).

The psalmist declared, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Ps 119:130). Scripture can make a minister perfect (II Tim 3:16-17). You should give attention to it, as the only light in this dark world (Is 8:20; II Pet 1:19).

God gave you a manual of wisdom in the Bible! He also promised His Spirit of wisdom to those who ask, and He will give both liberally (Luke 11:13; Eph 1:17; Col 1:9; Jas 1:5). With an offer like Solomon’s dream, do you pray for wisdom and understanding?

Her maidens want your attention. She cries out to you. You cannot please God without her. You need her to be successful or happy. You cannot face God after death without her. If you neglect or reject her call, she will punish your folly (Pr 1:20-32; 8:32-36).

Test your heart about Lady Wisdom right now. Do you appreciate your parents reproving you? Friends correcting you? A pastor warning you? Do you crave the assemblies of the saints, where the Word of God is boldly preached? Even when the sermon is long?

Do you read these proverbs carefully, seeking to extract every morsel of wisdom you can, since they are God’s inspired wisdom from the pen of King Solomon? You do not have to look far to see the maidens Lady Wisdom sent to invite you. What will you do right now?

Jesus Christ is Wisdom personified (I Cor 1:30; Col 2:3). God’s wisdom is seen clearly in the life of Jesus Christ. His apostles, eyewitnesses of His resurrection, preached His gospel throughout the world. Have you believed and obeyed that message of wisdom?

Under Gods Command                           

Proverbs 3:15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her

What woman is more precious than rubies? The virtuous woman (Pr 31:10)? Yes, but not in this context. Is there any woman incomparably more valuable than all things you could desire? No. Is this then a personification of success, health, happiness, wealth, family, a college degree, and/or a vacation home? No. This woman is Lady Wisdom (Pr 3:13-15).

Here is one of the Bible’s most extreme and superlative statements. There is some thing personified as a woman that exceeds the rare and precious character of rubies. And this thing surpasses any thing else you could dream about as being desirable or necessary to your success and happiness. Wisdom and understanding are that important (Pr 3:13-15)!

Men spend great efforts and much time pursuing things that are far inferior to wisdom. They chase education, physical fitness, career plans, estate building, a pretty wife, and other goals with much zeal and costly investments of various kinds. But these other things that men desire, even added together and combined, are less valuable than wisdom.

It is an axiom of human nature that you love yourself. Since you do care about your own peace, pleasure, prosperity, and reputation, here in this proverb is the simplest and most dramatic change you can make in your life to achieve your goals – learn wisdom and live your life by it. Why will you deprive yourself of real success by chasing anything else?

Why is wisdom so important? Because it brings long life, riches, and honor (Pr 3:16); it brings pleasantness and peace (Pr 3:17); and it brings life and happiness (Pr 3:18). You cannot even dream of anything that can provide all these blessings. And yet these are the certain advantages and rewards given to those that find wisdom (Pr 3:13-18).

No wonder David told Solomon, “Get wisdom, get understanding – Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Pr 4:5-7). If David, the man after God’s own heart, told his son that wisdom was that important, it should be important to you also. What an exhortation! Did you read it? Get wisdom!

What is wisdom? It is the power of right judgment, the ability to please God and men in all situations. It is based on a deep and abiding fear of the LORD Jehovah, a hatred for all sin and evil, active faith that God is and rewards, and knowledge of the precious details of His precious word (Pr 1:7; 8:13; 9:10; 22:17-21; Job 28:28; Ps 119:128; Heb 11:6).

How do you get it? By fearing God as the First Cause and Last End of all things in the universe (Pr 16:4; Ps 14:1)! By trembling in humility and repentance before God and the Bible (Is 66:1-2; II Tim 3:16-17)! By rejecting any opinion of any man that contradicts the Bible (Ps 119:98-100; Is 8:20; I Tim 6:3-5,20)! By soberly listening to the man of God when he preaches God’s truth to you (Luke 8:11-18; Jas 1:21-25)! Wisdom is easy!

Forget education or worldly wisdom (I Cor 1:19-20; 2:6-9; 3:19-20). Forget wealth or professional success (Pr 3:14; 23:4-5; Ps 39:6; I Tim 6:6-10). Forget physical strength or recreation (Ps 90:10-12; Eccl 10:10; 12:1-7; I Tim 4:8). These things are vanity and vexation of spirit – they get you nowhere with God or man – they are empty and painful. Rejoice in knowing God and His character (Jer 9:23-24). That is wisdom and pleasure!

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 3:25 Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked

Fear is one of life’s worst experiences. A dreaded event may be imagined, or it may be real, but both are very painful. Terrifying news or reports of danger can suddenly cause great alarm and fear. Or you may know God is going to severely judge the wicked around you. But in both cases, wise men will be happy and peaceful, because God will be their confidence in danger, and He will deliver them from judgment of the wicked (Pr 3:26).

The larger context describes the many benefits of wisdom (Pr 3:1-22). The smaller context teaches that peace from fear and safety from danger are some of these benefits (Pr 3:23-24). The proverb above declares wisdom’s value to deliver men from surprise events and trouble and from God’s judgment of sinners. Because wisdom includes the fear of God and obedience to Him, He will save such men and women from both dangers.

Praise the true and living God! A Christian should not fear anything, for his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord (Ps 112:7-8). Even if an army were to come against him, he can be confident, because the high King of Heaven is on his side (Ps 27:1-6). Even if the surface of the earth were violently overthrown, there is no cause for fear at all (Ps 46:1-7). Here is a glorious benefit of wisdom – faith in God will save you from all fears (Ps 34:1-7).

Consider sudden fear. A doctor says you have cancer! Your spouse of many years leaves you! You are fired unexpectedly! You are in the middle of a bank during a robbery! Your son is killed in an accident! Your auto quits, and you have no money for repairs! A powerful nation declares war against yours! Your retirement plan is cancelled entirely!

Those who fear God and love wisdom have complete confidence in the face of fear. Naaman contracted incurable leprosy, but he boldly sought Elisha for its full cure. Hezekiah had a fatal disease, but he prayed for a couple minutes and was given 15 more years. Jesus Christ went to the cruel death of the cross with total confidence in His Father. Paul and Silas could sing praises in a Roman dungeon in Philippi, Macedonia.

Consider the desolation of the wicked. The influenza epidemic of 1918 killed 40 million! World War II took 72 million more! Deranged moon worshippers destroyed the World Trade Center! A 2004 tsunami wiped out the lives and homes of many from ten nations!

Those who fear God and love wisdom are kept from God’s judgment of the wicked. God drowned all men by a worldwide flood 4500 years ago, but Noah and his family were dry in the Ark. He took Lot out of Sodom before burning it up. Jacob and his family were fed in the best part of Egypt during a terrible famine. Many saints were saved out of Jerusalem, when God sent the Roman armies to destroy the murderers of His Son.

What is wisdom? It is reverently fearing the LORD Jehovah of the Bible and keeping His commandments. God befriends, blesses, delivers, and helps such men, so they need not fear in this world or the next. They can respond confidently to any news of trouble, for they will be protected. If the God of heaven is on your side, then there is nothing man or natural disasters can do to you (Pr 3:26; Ps 118:6; Matt 10:28-31; Heb 13:5-6).

The worst fear the world has ever seen and the worst desolation of the wicked are yet to come, and they are not far off (II Thes 1:7-9). Jesus Christ will come from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire to take vengeance on them that do not know God and do not obey the gospel. But those who believe in Him will be glorified and will admire Him at the very same event (II Thes 1:10). Believe and obey the Lord Jesus Christ today.

Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 3:22 They will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. 

Here is a prince – crowned with life and decorated with grace. Here is a successful man or woman – living a great life with a glorious reputation. Here is prosperity – saved from painful living and public shame. The man who keeps sound wisdom and discretion will have a wonderful life and a great name. Reader, what hinders you from being a prince?

The proverb concludes a sentence, which states, “My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion” (Pr 3:21). The plural pronoun “them” refers to wisdom, understanding, and knowledge in the context (Pr 3:13-20). Life for your soul and grace for your neck are based on steadily following sound wisdom and discretion.

What is sound wisdom? It is real wisdom, true wisdom, the wisdom of God. The wisdom of this world – abortion, divorce, evolution, fornication, labor unions, rap, sodomy – is foolishness. The wise men of this world – Darwin, Einstein, Marx, Sagan, Spock – are fools (Is 8:20; I Cor 1:20; 2:6; 3:19). Sound wisdom comes only from God and the Bible (Pr 2:7; 8:14; I Tim 1:10; II Tim 4:3-4). It is the only wisdom you should want or keep.

What is discretion? It knows what words or actions are best for any occasion. It knows what, when, where, and how to do anything. It is the reservation that holds a person back from foolish impulsiveness. It is discipline and self-denial to not speak the first words you think or not do the first thing that comes to mind. It is discerning and discriminating judgment to know the best approach and response to any situation.

What is “life unto thy soul”? Depressed, dysfunctional, or destructive living is like death. True wisdom and discretion give a happy and successful life rather than this death. They keep you from making fatal mistakes, and they increase and extend a good life. Solomon had already given a great description of the good life in the context (Pr 3:13-18).

What is “grace to thy neck”? Ornamentation or jewelry is often put around a person’s neck to show glory, honor, or reward. Consider the neck chains Pharaoh gave Joseph and Belshazzar gave Daniel (Gen 41:42; Dan 5:29). Wisdom and discretion enhance and exalt a man’s reputation, as if he had been awarded a gold chain by a great king (Pr 1:9).

Living a happy life and having a great reputation require godly wisdom and discretion (Pr 4:5-13; Ps 34:12-15). This is the lesson of the proverb. The Lord God of heaven will teach wisdom and discretion to any man who will despise his own thoughts, repent of his sins, and follow the teaching of the Bible. The purpose of the Bible, especially Proverbs, is to teach wisdom and discretion for a successful life (Pr 1:1-6; Ps 1:1-3; 19:7-14).

Under Gods Command                                  

Proverbs 3:29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you.

Those closest to you deserve the most from you. Yet men often treat family or friends more harshly than strangers. The more people trust you, the more you owe them. The more vulnerable a person becomes to you, the greater obligation you have to honor and protect him. You know more about your neighbors than others in your life, but this privilege brings the duty to protect rather than an opportunity to defraud. Beware!

Who is your neighbor? While lawyers quibble about words and wish to reduce this noun to a few friends (Luke 10:25-29), Solomon’s son Jesus Christ expanded it to anyone God places in your life (Luke 10:30-37). It includes your parents or a spouse to colleagues at work or a stranger you happen to sit beside on an airplane or bus. Of course, it also includes those who live next door, but it includes many more than those as well.

It is easy to discover the assets, faults, habits, and weaknesses of those closest to you. Your proximity to their activities and their trust in you combine to make them vulnerable to any lust on your part. God and Solomon, knowing this reality of relationships, warned against any wicked ambitions or defrauding by these advantages. Godly men are scrupulously honest with neighbors, and they are exceptionally protective of them.

Cain slew his trusting brother. Jacob’s sons deceived and murdered Shechem, and then they sold Joseph into slavery. King Saul tried to murder David as he played for him. Joab slew the trusting Abner and Amasa. Judas knew the Lord’s habits, and he used them to earn a few coins by betraying Him to a murderous mob. The sin of this proverb is the cruelest form of personal malice (Ps 41:9; 55:12-15; Matt 26:46-50; John 13:21).

Do you exploit or protect knowledge of colleagues at work? Does the nearness of your neighbor’s wife make him more or less vulnerable to you? Do you exploit or protect gullible classmates? Can any sitting near you anywhere trust you with their belongings? Do you always have fellow church members’ best interests at heart in any interaction? When someone confides in you, is that information strictly off-limits to anyone else?

The sin can also be found at home. Abuse or neglect of spouses is treachery, for marriage exposes everything to another, and marriage is based on assumed loyalty and faithfulness (Mal 2:10-16). Never compare your wife to another woman! Never defraud or demean the man in your bed! Private events of a family at home should never be shared outside the home, for family members assume they are fully secure at home. Only the cruel without a conscience share such private information to promote or protect themselves.

Are all around you fully secure in their relationship with you and in relating things to you? Can your neighbor trust you with a key to his house and cars? Do church members know they can trust you with the intimate details of their lives? Or do they know your evil heart could be tempted to exploit their weakness for your own advantage or to share it with others? Always protect others. Let this proverb warn you. Learn godliness today.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 3:9 Honor the LORD with your wealth with the first fruits of all your crops

How important is God to you? Can you improve your finances? This proverb answers both questions! You can honor Him with your mouth, but talk is cheap. You should put your money where your mouth is to show true honor. Solomon promised, “So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine” (Pr 3:10).

Success requires giving some of your assets, and the first part of any increase, to God. Giving Him leftovers, whether large or small, is not honor, and it does not fulfill the proverb. Solomon gave a financial secret – firstfruits giving to honor God. Giving money away is how to get ahead (Pr 11:24). Are you poor? You cannot afford not to give!

Firstfruits giving pays God off the top. Fruit is return on investment or labor. First is paying God before anyone else, including you. Many violate this rule by giving a few bits of all they make. This is not honor. Others violate it by giving from what is left after expenses. This is not honor. This is not firstfruits. Many give a percentage of take home pay, though they always quote their salary in terms of gross pay. This is not firstfruits.

The tithe is not taught directly in the New Testament. It was taught in the Law of Moses.  The Israelites gave 23 1/3 % with two annual tithes and a triennial tithe (Num 18:20-32; Deut 14:22-29). Plus they gave special vows and freewill offerings (Deut 12:6). How did Abraham and Jacob know about tithing before the Law of Moses (Gen 14:20; 28:22)? Because it is a general rule of godly giving, which New Testament saints should use as a guide or  minimum for the far greater blessings they enjoy (Luke 12:48; Heb 8:6).

God dares His people to test how much He can bless them (Mal 3:8-12). Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were financially blessed, because they knew how to give (Gen 14:20; 28:22). God made David rich (I Chron 29:18), but David loved to give (I Chron 21:24; 22:1-16). If you give liberally, the Lord promises to reward you liberally (Pr 11:25; Luke 6:38).

A Christian businessman, R.G. LeTourneau, grasped the concept of honoring God and giving – he gave 90% and kept 10% for himself, no matter his financial situation! He became one of America’s great industrialists. “The question” he said, “is not how much of my money I give to God, but rather how much of God’s money I keep for myself.”

How you give counts more with the blessed God than how much you give. The Lord loves a cheerful giver (II Cor 8:12; 9:7). Giving should be your favorite financial activity. The Lord Jesus Christ took note of a widow woman giving just two mites (Luke 21:1-4). If you combine cheerful giving with liberal giving, God will bless you greatly.